The sixth UTMSU board meeting last Monday involved UTMSU executives and directors discussing possible ways to deal with the revisions to audiovisual costs for certain club events, as well as equity on campus.
UTMSU president Ebi Agbeyegbe said that students will have to rent speakers for events outside the Student Centre. With some of the clubs already receiving low funding and the difficulty of affording the costs, they considered buying the equipment.
“UTMSU talked to senior administrators over the summer about the newly implemented AV costs,” said Nour Alideeb, UTMSU’s VP university affairs and academics. “They responded saying that the provost allocates a certain amount of money each year for AV costs.”
According to Alideeb, the provost pays $25,000 and splits it across the three U of T campuses, meaning each campus receives approximately $8,000 to fund AV equipment. The rest of the cost would now have to be paid by student groups and organizations. The Medium has not independently verified this claim.
According to Francesco Otello-DeLuca, UTMSU’s VP internal and services, purchasing audiovisual equipment would not solve the problem, but would alleviate it.
It was suggested that a petition be created for clubs and societies on campus that states that they do not want to pay the full amount needed for audiovisual usage. Walied Khogali, UTMSU’s executive director, argued that the students in the past lobbied against the AV costs. Khogali suggested reaching out to student governors and encouraging them take greater notice of the issue.
Khogali also said that the problem with the AV costs should be solved by the administration instead of being the student union’s concern to resolve, since the decision was made by the administration.
Also discussed at the administration’s sixth board meeting was UTMSU’s controversial social media post defining the term reverse racism, posted on July 28.
As previously reported by The Medium, the definition outlined the term reverse racism as a term which “does not exist”.
Khogali brought up the possibility of lobbying the administration to hold an equity course at UTM. To this, Alideeb responded that some students could find it uncomfortable to take an equity course; she thought it could instead be implemented in sociology or women and gender courses.
Amir Moazzami, VP part-time affairs, recommended bringing scholars and professors to talk about the equity subject, because, he believes, it could drive more students to learn about the subject.
The next UTMSU board meeting is scheduled for October 26.